Family Ties

I came up with an idea for these characters a couple years ago and have added to and tweaked it a few times since then. (In other words, same as usual.) I originally considered calling it “Sibling Rivalry”. But, as their story developed in my mind, there wasn’t much rivalry to speak of. Although, to be honest, most of the “story development” so far has been about the individuals and the superpowers they develop, and not much plot for a series. Then, I was gonna go with simply “Siblings”, which is accurate but sounded dull and non-descriptive. So, I changed it to…

“Family Ties”

Three siblings — ages 22, 20, & 18 — manifest superhuman powers at roughly the same time (though the odd timing isn’t discovered until later). But, instead of putting on tights and becoming costumed adventurers or masked vigilantes, they get “regular” jobs where they can use their particular talents, which are known by at least a few of their family and/or friends, peers, superiors. They are…

45584137-united-states-army-ranger-with-assault-rifle1) Robert O. Jenkins: The eldest, “Bob” (5’11”), develops chameleonic abilities that are initially limited to his body, but through practice can be extended to clothing and, eventually, to anything within 10 inches of his body (e.g., a gun, package, or other body). Essentially, he psionically bends or manipulates light so that he blends into the surroundings. He joins the military (Army?), where he is trained in sharpshooting, infiltration, hand-to-hand combat, and rescue operations. However, the exact nature of his training, as well as his new abilities, are considered “classified”; he can’t even discuss it with his family.

abbe_dorn_in_illegal_streetgear2) Melissa A. Jenkins: “Missy” is a tall (5’10”), “big-boned” young woman (but not fat or chubby) who develops “weight problems” — i.e., her bone, muscle, and other tissue are all roughly 3x normal density. As a result, her weight triples from 170 lbs. to roughly 500 lbs. This, coupled with a superhumanly heightened immune system and healing factor, makes her incredibly strong and resistant to physical, viral, and bacterial harm. She drops out of community college and joins the State Police, where she also weight-trains, learns some martial arts, and hones her already-formidable skills at the gun range. She becomes the first participant in a new, little-known program to train law-enforcement officers with unusual skills and abilities.

terry-hollands-353) Matthew E. Jenkins: The youngest sibling is “Mattie”, a tall, chubby kid with an inferiority complex which is exacerbated by his tendency to overeat. By the time his power manifests, he is very overweight (6’4″, ~450 lbs.). His power is the ability to generate an energy field, either as a force-field radiating outward from his body or directed outward from his arms and hands, which can be mentally fine-tuned to deflect/reflect kinetic force and/or various types of radiation above or below the visible range (So, for example, he cannot become invisible, but he can insulate himself from temperature and pressure extremes.) He is hired by an industrial salvage & rescue firm, where his abilities are quite useful. (He also takes college courses on-line.) The nature and strength of young Mattie’s abilities are not public knowledge, though his involvement in a couple of high-profile rescues does get his face on TV.

It is hypothesized, and later proven, that the strength of Mattie’s energy projections are affected by both his body mass and his mental focus. With the aid of a personal trainer, a nutritionist, and a psychotherapist (all subsidized by his employer), he is eventually able to replace a lot of his weight with solid muscle (which is naturally 3x denser than fat), become more self-confident, and improve his mental discipline.

Beyond this, the first story-arc would follow their lives individually for awhile, but they would eventually “team up” on some adventure. While there is no “rivalry”, per se, perhaps at least a couple have a bit of a  strained relationship that could be explored. Maybe the situation or events leading to their first “team up” since gaining their powers somehow involves a family member or close friend of the family. This could be a catalyst for repairing the relationship(s); or, maybe it would cause jealousy or other emotions to resurface. I would also want to investigate why their powers manifest, and why simultaneously? What is the cause? Is it natural or “intelligently designed”? Do their estranged parents know anything?

Well, that’s as far as I got. Any of you want to add some suggestions?

* All ideas copyright Christopher Harris, 2013-2016.

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